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Horror master John Carpenter ready to end his 10-year directing hiatus


John Carpenter has been discussing his next steps in cinema and alluded to a return to the director’s chair to “make a little horror film.”

Carpenter, who was recently honoured at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, is responsible for classic horror films such as the original Halloween, The Thing, The Fog and many more.

Despite having acted as executive producer, co-composer, and creative consultant on a new film in the Halloween film, Carpenter hasn’t directed his own film since the release of 2010 effort The Ward. That effort, which starred the likes of Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer and Danielle Panabaker, is set in 1966 and “chronicles a young woman who is institutionalised after setting fire to a house, and who finds herself haunted by the ghost of a former inmate at the psychiatric ward.”

Having been given its premiere at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, The Ward received poor reviews internationally and struggled at box office and came nowhere near close to recouping the $10 million invested in the project.

Perhaps with that in mind, Carpenter has alluded to a change of direction with his next project, eyeing up a film with smaller ambitions: “I don’t have one scheduled but I’m working on things,” Carpenter told Collider when asked about his next project. “I made a lot of movies and I got burned out and I had to stop for a while. I have to have a life. Circumstance would have to be correct for me to do it again,” he added.

Detailing specifically what he had in mind, Carpenter added: “I’d love to make a little horror film that would be great or a big adventure film. It would be a project that I like that’s budgeted correctly. Nowadays they make these young directors do movie for $2 million when the movie is written for $10 million. So you have to squeeze it all in there and I don’t want to do that anymore.”

[MORE] – Behind the scenes of ‘The Thing’: John Carpenter’s 1982 horror spectacular

Carpenter, having been presented with the ‘Golden Coach Award’ by the French directors’ guild at the opening ceremony of the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, detailed his fascination with the concept of characters emerging from rays of light ever since the age of three.

According to Carpenter, his first trip to the cinema to watch Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen was a pivotal moment in the formation of his cinematic vision. It’s that transportation of an audience through the world of light and the shadows around it that I’m proud to be a part of,” he told the audience.

[MORE] – John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ soundtrack is getting a vinyl re-issue